Past Event


A Road Scholar Program by Jeanne Schultz Angel

Illinois and Illinoisans played prominent roles in the anti-slavery movement preceding the Civil War, but were all opponents of slavery necessarily involved in the Underground Railroad?

Understanding the wide variety of motivations that might lie behind any given individual’s opposition to slavery – commitment to human rights, belief in racial equality, economic considerations, and religious convictions, among others – is important to understanding the escalation to war.

Angel explores the role that the Underground Railroad played in the lives of Freedom Seekers and explains how one particular story illustrates connections within the network across the state. She examines the criteria that historians use to separate fact from fiction and determine which purported Underground Railroad sites are verifiable. She demonstrates that the range of responses to slavery on the part of Illinoisans was more complex than the state’s designation as the "Land of Lincoln" might suggest and that some of the underlying issues still manifest themselves in one form or another today.

This event is Free and Open to the public. For more information, please contact Candace Summers,